Cover: Friends of Interpretable Objects, from Harvard University PressCover: Friends of Interpretable Objects in PAPERBACK

Friends of Interpretable Objects

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$29.00 • £23.95 • €26.00

ISBN 9780674013681

Publication Date: 03/01/2004

Short

208 pages

World

Related Subjects

Share This

A strikingly original work, Friends of Interpretable Objects re-anchors aesthetics in the object of attention even as it redefines the practice, processes, meaning, and uses of interpretation.

Miguel Tamen’s concern is to show how inanimate objects take on life through their interpretation—notably, in our own culture, as they are collected and housed in museums. It is his claim that an object becomes interpretable only in the context of a “society of friends.” Thus, Tamen suggests, our inveterate tendency as human beings to interpret the phenomenal world gives objects not only a life but also a society. As his work unfolds, “friends” also takes on a legal sense, as advocates, introduced to advance the argument that the social life of interpreted and interpretable objects engenders a related web of social obligations.

Focusing on those who, through interpretation, make objects “speak” in settings as different as churches, museums, forests, and distant galaxies—those who know the best interests of corporations, endangered species, and works of art—Tamen exposes the common ground shared by art criticism, political science, tort law, and science. Learned and witty, with much to teach art historians, environmentalists, anthropologists, curators, and literary critics, his book utterly reorients our understanding of how we make sense of our world.

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket: Our Universe: An Astronomer’s Guide, by Jo Dunkley, from Harvard University Press

Q&A with Jo Dunkley, author of Our Universe: An Astronomer’s Guide

Jo Dunkley combines her expertise as an astrophysicist with her talents as a teacher and writer in Our Universe: An Astronomer’s Guide, a lively and exceptionally clear introduction to the structure and history of the universe and its enduring mysteries. We spoke with her about the book and her seemingly limitless topic.

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.